Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

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alan weinberg
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#1 Post by alan weinberg »

seems like a good option--heard about this one: http://www.mysolarbackup.com
Anybody w experience?

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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#2 Post by Rick.T »

This unit supplies 1800 watts which equates to around 15 amps @ 120 volts. (1800/120=15) I just went to google to see what a standard A/C pulls at startup and it is over 15 amps. Check out what size breaker you have dedicated for your cellar A/C right now, it is probably 20A. However, I am stating generalities, depending on the size of your unit, you may be in luck.
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#3 Post by dennis.coronado »

It is expensive. One could have a permanent generator installed with transfer switch for a few more dollars. Power goes out and generator comes on in less than 60 seconds. I would rather have Honda EU2000i and run an extension cord if you want the portable route.

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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#4 Post by Jeff Vaughan »

I agree with Rick and Dennis. Motors and compressors have larger starting loads than their running loads. Gas powered generators can start larger loads than their full load ratings partially because of the inertia of the rotating equipment. I doubt that the solar powered generator can since the power is stored in a battery.
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#5 Post by M Hudson »

That is a piece of junk. If you read through the add you will see it's only one 100 watt panel. No panel is 100 percent efficient nor is the transfer system. So to make the claim up to 1800 watts there has to be a battery and an inverter.

So long story short even if it could supply 1800 watts, which I doubt, it would only last a very short time because there is no way that panel would replenish the watts drawn by your cooler (at the same rate)

I have one of the Hondas mentioned above, but these days there are decent competitors to that model that are far less expensive.
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#6 Post by mattcitrang »

Junk, great if you want to charge your cell phone and iPad. That's about it.
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#7 Post by NED VALOIS »

Too Small for us Big Winos !

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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#8 Post by Greg D »

Definitely a piece of junk and marketed toward customers who wouldn't do their homework. And they make that homework difficult by not providing the right specs. It obviously uses a battery and inverter contained in the silver box. That's the only way a 100W DC solar panel could be the source for a system that provides 1800W peak power. If that is real... what they don't tell you is how much sustained power it can produce and for how long. It will be less than 1800W and for what? 1 hour? 4 hours? They conveniently don't mention that. And how long does it take to charge the battery back up from 50% discharged with the panel getting full sun? Another important spec left out.

Whenever you see something marketed this way "only available on TV" it's usually an overpriced POS and anyone could put together something better for a much lower price with a little homework.
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#9 Post by alan weinberg »

thanks for the info. The problem is that, here in S Cal, when the big one hits, I won't have access to natural gas or gasoline beyond the little I can store, so I was thinking solar. What do you guys in the know recommend?

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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#10 Post by M Hudson »

From my reading, off the grid systems have one common draw back. Batteries. Not only are they very costly, they are inefficient

I don't know how long you want to be able to run your home cellar but a decent solar system designed to be off the grid and to supply non stop 20 am service would be very expensive. You would have to look at the average amp draw over a given (preferably a heavy use day) and size up to accommodate the facts there is no sunlight at night, and it may be cloudy for 5 days to be sure it would cover your usage.

Seems to me storing 10-20 gallons of fuel in your garage would be much better for a multi day outage.

There are propane generators as well and you can have a large unground tank installed, but the cost is going to be a significant portion of your cellar.
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#11 Post by Kirk.Grant »

alan weinberg wrote:thanks for the info. The problem is that, here in S Cal, when the big one hits, I won't have access to natural gas or gasoline beyond the little I can store, so I was thinking solar. What do you guys in the know recommend?
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#12 Post by Rick.T »

I recommend a propane generator with an above ground tank. Have an electrician install an ATS so the generator kicks on as soon as the power fails. You would need to size the generator to your specific needs.
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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#13 Post by Jon Lawrence »

I love this line:

"We have a small supply of these amazing systems in our warehouse and we've set a few aside for our friends who want to be independent and start to get off the grid."

Maybe they could throw in a ShamWow too, we are friends after all.

Alan - based on the price of electricity in CA, solar should be a no-brainer, yes?

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Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#14 Post by Dale Williams »

Love this part of the sales pitch: Great for powering aquariums, small refrigerators/freezers, alarm clocks

Pretty good clue it won't run a cooling system (with more peak draw than a small fridge). I have a 3500W generator, but wouldn't count on it running an AC.

Around here (Northeast), I wouldn't count on solar as almost every outage has been at night or totally overcast. Even if battery is filled, it won't last forever, and won't recharge if when sun is shining it's powering current needs

So SoCal could depend on more sun. But if the "big one" hits and destroys NG lines, what are the chances that your cellar survives? Much more open space for wines to be tossed than buried lines.

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#15 Post by PippaWilson »

Yeah man, you will pay too much money on this thing which will generate not enough power. Why dont you better buy a cheaper permanent fuel generator?

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#16 Post by alan weinberg »

Rick.T wrote: April 5th, 2015, 8:46 pm I recommend a propane generator with an above ground tank. Have an electrician install an ATS so the generator kicks on as soon as the power fails. You would need to size the generator to your specific needs.
how big a propane tank? Not sure my HOA would allow a big tank, buried or above ground.

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#17 Post by HenryB »

when dealing with backups, i recommend also thinking about the circumstances you are trying to mitigate.

Do you want to buy yourself 24 hours of outage on main grid electricity? A week? A month?

What event are you trying to mitigate for? A power grid blackout because of years of lack of investment in infrastructure? Or a 9.5 earthquake that kills roads, gas pipes, and the wider power grid?

You can spend a near infinite sum of money mitigating all the various scenarios, you need to work out where you'll draw the line on worth mitigating vs not.
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#18 Post by Anthony C »

We have solar panels, just enough to cover our total electrical consumption for the year with no batteries.

I did the math with battery backups versus generators and the battery backup just didn't make economic sense 2 years ago. Maybe as batteries get cheaper, but the unit for my size house was $11k installed, whereas you can get a very nice, quiet Honda 7kW for $5k with enough to run most of the house. But that said, we only really needed the fridge, deep freeze, a lighting circuit, and the furnace but not A/C. That would get us through a winter outage or summer (albeit probably a bit hot). We haven't lost power for more than one day in years and the worst was 3 days a long time ago. So these aren't frequent events. Also, the batteries degrade over time and in 15 years I'd be buying new ones whether I used them often or not.

In the end we bought a pair of small 2kW generators that we can link for under $1k. It meets our needs and as of yet I've only used them to run power tools away from the house. Even if those crap out on us after a few years it's still way cheaper than the battery solution. And they're pretty fuel-efficient and should run 24 hours on one tank (which I believe is a gallon capacity) although I have not tested that yet (thankfully).
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#19 Post by HoosJustinG »

I think the effort of planning for an earthquake devastating enough to wipe out your natural gas supply is better spent looking into buying insurance or getting off site storage in a less "seismically interesting" location. NG generators are relatively cheap and can power your whole house -- not just the cellar -- for an extended outage.
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#20 Post by Jim Clary »

This is a subject I have been interested in for the last year. We have a decent sized house (7,800 feet) and my concern is where we might have an outage of a day or more. Anyone have experience with similar specs?
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#21 Post by Jonathan Favre »

Jim Clary wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:00 am This is a subject I have been interested in for the last year. We have a decent sized house (7,800 feet) and my concern is where we might have an outage of a day or more. Anyone have experience with similar specs?
We are lucky enough to have a house with a large enough subpanel (ran during original construction) on the side where the cellar is - that also serves the refrigerators (most of kitchen) and cellar cooling units - not the house A/C though. This was easy enough to isolate and provide a backup NG generator for without having to find a way to service the entire house. Our second NG meter is only 10ft away from where the generator is also so running a supply line wasn't hard at all. If I were to design a house now-a-days --- I'd always run power to the side of the house where a cellar is or could be constructed :). Providing backup service for an entire house like yours runs into all of the problems mentioned above.

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#22 Post by Tom R W »

Near the bottom in the Ad Copy-
"Powerful enough to run a 12Volt air compressor long enough to fill up 4 car tires!" Sounds about right for that unit. It will work to charge your phone, devices, etc; but not run your wine cellar cooler for hours.
FWIW- what type of power outages are you worried about? Solar panels work fine for CA rolling brownouts, not so great for storm/high-wind related power outages if the battery need continual recharging.
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#23 Post by David Patte »

Hi Alan, we have 36 solar panels and I’ve looked into solar battery backup systems that can power various circuits. That’s a great place to start— a solar energy provider. They can give you all the options for battery backup generation as they assess your solar panel capacity. ( I really should have installed the batteries during the overall solar system installation— perhaps this could have qualified for the tax incentives too, not sure, but it definitely would have avoided extra electrician costs, etc.). We are really pleased with our solar system— even up here in Oregon, we are producing 95-100% of our energy needs annually.

That said, as folks have suggested, running an AC unit off of batteries (or any type of generator for that matter) will require a large system and be very expensive. I am still pondering all of this.... Good luck!
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#24 Post by John S »

Yeah that is pretty much useless for a wine cooling system. Ideal as noted is propane tank (250 gals probably) to fuel a real generator (Honda Generac etc). Solar is a very poor option due to batteries and of course in a emergency one lose solar power as well due to weather etc. Can also use to run things in the house as needed with a proper transfer case.

FWIW, I have a fully solar power small house in CA so know about the basic design parameters.
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#25 Post by Brian Gilp »

I don’t know this product so no comments on it. I do have a Yeti1000 and solar panel from goal zero for the zombie apocalypse scenario but we sized it knowing that it is only going to power a few things and only for part of the day. It isn’t a whole house generator. But now that I have it I have found other uses as well. Just this past weekend I used it to power a circular saw and it didn’t have any problems. Didn’t drain the battery as much as expected either. Surely this isn’t something everyone needs but I’d buy another if this one dies.

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#26 Post by Alan Rath »

Jim Clary wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:00 am This is a subject I have been interested in for the last year. We have a decent sized house (7,800 feet) and my concern is where we might have an outage of a day or more. Anyone have experience with similar specs?
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#27 Post by John Morris »

dennis.coronado wrote: April 5th, 2015, 4:38 am It is expensive. One could have a permanent generator installed with transfer switch for a few more dollars. Power goes out and generator comes on in less than 60 seconds. I would rather have Honda EU2000i and run an extension cord if you want the portable route.
What's the price?

I'm considering a Tesla PowerWall system, a powerful but compact lithium battery packaged with solar panels. According to Tesla's website, the installed cost of the system in NY state is only about $3,400 after rebates and tax credits. It looks like it can supply 30 amps at 110V, and it works like a standby generator, taking over if the power goes out.
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#28 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Jim Clary wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:00 am This is a subject I have been interested in for the last year. We have a decent sized house (7,800 feet) and my concern is where we might have an outage of a day or more. Anyone have experience with similar specs?
That’s going to require an enormous whole house generator. We have 30 kw for a much smaller house.

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#29 Post by John S »

No battery based system is gonna be practical for a cellar backup. The Tesla Powerwall would probably run it for a few hours or a half day max. They don't store a lot of energy. The true battery based off grid system is typically designed with 2 days of reserve power which requires a very large battery bank or just a large wall of Tesla batteries. IMO any cellar backup should be longer than 2 days and would need lots of battery power. That's why I suggested a propane tank which if 250 gals would probably last for 10 days running a generator. That's a good backup plan :)
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#30 Post by Jason Crawford »

Whole house generators. I believe ours runs off of natural gas?

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#31 Post by Bob Davis »

alan weinberg wrote: April 5th, 2015, 8:57 am thanks for the info. The problem is that, here in S Cal, when the big one hits, I won't have access to natural gas or gasoline beyond the little I can store, so I was thinking solar. What do you guys in the know recommend?
I seriously doubt there is a solar panel system smaller than a basketball court that could keep a cooling unit running for any length of time.

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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#32 Post by NED VALOIS »

22 kw (not Solar), 500 gallons propane whole house!
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Re: Solar powered generator for wine cellar backup

#33 Post by dennis.coronado »

John Morris wrote: April 7th, 2021, 1:09 pm
dennis.coronado wrote: April 5th, 2015, 4:38 am It is expensive. One could have a permanent generator installed with transfer switch for a few more dollars. Power goes out and generator comes on in less than 60 seconds. I would rather have Honda EU2000i and run an extension cord if you want the portable route.
What's the price?
What is the value of your wine ?

Honda eu2000 for under $1000. Make sure that size will work for you. Then you need to run cords, plus fill with gas and oil. Go to Generac and search for a dealer to get generator quotes. You should be able to get something for $6000-$8000 that will run a few things in your house? Will you lose wifi without electricity? What is the replacement t cost of everything in your freezer and refrigerator? Can you live without AC in 90F for a few days or heat at 32F? Sure you can until you're in that situation-then you will make the purchase.

You can buy F150 with onboard generator to use as plug in. Some EV's have generators available which is what some people used in TX without power during their storms.

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